Monte Dall’Ora Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Sausto 2019


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“The 2019 Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Sausto takes its time opening in the glass but is worth the wait, as hints of chalk dust and cedar give way to exotic spice and pepper-tinged tart cherry. This splashes across the palate, juicy, almost playful at first, yet with a core of intense wild berry fruits and minerals that slowly saturate. It finishes structured and long, still in a primary stage yet bursting at the seams, leaving black raspberry and clove to resonate through the slightly chewy finale. The 2019 Sausto will need some time to blossom fully but is packed full of potential. Drinking window: 2024-2036. 93 points

Over the last few years, I’ve been happily following the wines of Monte dall’Ora, which possess a sense of energy and purity seldom found in Valpolicella. Carlo Venturini and his wife Alessandra Zantedeschi started to work their farm in 1995, organic at first, with a conversion to biodynamic principles in 2006. The couple believes deeply in biodiversity, using pergola-trained vines planted amongst cherry and olive trees and grasses and wildflowers that create a natural ecosystem. The family also tends to a 50-year-old parcel planted using the “vite maritata” system, where the vines are “married” or supported by trees, including almond and mulberry. This parcel creates their Amarone Stropa, which is a huge standout. Each wine is a declaration of place with vineyards throughout the Classico zone. Also of note is the high-elevation San Giorgio vineyard, which produces one of the most exciting Valpolicella I have tasted this year. This is low intervention, natural winemaking at its very best.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (03/23)